Reinvest Federal Funds into New Jersey's Family Support Services
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We, the undersigned, request that the Governor, Administration, and Legislature of the State of New Jersey formally commit to reinvesting all federal Medicaid matching funds for the Division of Developmental Disabilities’ new Medicaid Family Support Waiver back into the Division’s Family Support service system.
New Jersey has never fully reinvested all federal funds from the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers for people with developmental disabilities into community services overseen by the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). Despite the best efforts of advocates and others, a significant portion of the funds from the current Community Care Waiver (CCW) have been placed in the General Treasury and used for other purposes (such as filling budget gaps). The diversion of this money weakens an already fragile system, and directly impacts the availability of services and limits the number of people served.
DDD is currently developing a new Medicaid HCBS Waiver. This new “Family Support Waiver” is intended to serve individuals in day programs and those receiving Family Support services (such as respite care, assistive technology, before/after care, etc.), and will bring in federal matching funds for these services.
Two of the primary goals of the new “Family Support Waiver” are to help ensure that families have the supports they need to continue providing care for their family member at home thereby saving New Jersey millions of dollars in residential care, while at the same time maximizing federal funds for New Jersey’s Family Support program so that more families can receive these desperately needed supports. There are currently thousands of families on waiting lists for these services in New Jersey.
Currently, approximately $40 million in state-only funds are used for Family Support. It is planned that a significant portion of these funds, as well as funds from day programs for individuals not currently able to access the comprehensive CCW due to limited enrollment, will be used to fund this waiver. The federal government would then reimburse the state 50% of the cost of all waiver eligible services.
For the Family Support Waiver to successfully meet the needs of over 27,000 families registered with DDD who are caring for their family member at home, it is critical that the federal funds generated by this waiver be reinvested in the waiver and not used to fill other gaps in the state’s budget.
New Jersey Family Support Coalition